Montreal, Qubec, Canada, and Natick, Massachusetts, January 17, 2002 - Nexia Biotechnologies Inc. (TSE:NXB) and the U.S. Army Soldier Biological Chemical Command (SBCCOM) have reported in this weeks journal of Science that they have made the worlds first spider silk fibers from man-made materials with properties similar to natural spider silk. Spider silk has long been admired by material scientists for its unique combination of high-performance properties including toughness, strength, light-ness and biodegradability. Nexia is developing recombinant spider silk, trade named BioSteel, for applications in the medical, military and industrial performance fiber markets.
"Mimicking spider silk properties has been the holy grail of material science for a long time and now weve been able to make useful fibers," said Jeffrey Turner, PhD, President and CEO of Nexia. "Having achieved this proof of principle, Nexia has now moved toward commercial development for multiple applications such as medical sutures, biodegradable fishing lines, soft body armor and unique material composites. Our strategy is two-fold: to produce large quantities of BioSteel through our proprietary transgenic goat technology and to optimize spinning processes to create a diversity of spider silks with specific properties."
The Science paper, titled "Spider Silk Fibers Spun from Soluble Recombinant Silk Produced in Mammalian Cells" (Lazaris et al., 2002-01-18. Science. Vol. 295:472-476) describes the production of a number of different dragline spider silk proteins via cell culture techniques using silk genes derived from two different species of orb-weaving spiders. The dragline spider silks from these species have been documented to be among the strongest silks reported. The monomer silk proteins from one of these species were spun from an aqueous solut
Contact: Jeffrey Turner, PhD
Nexia Biotechnologies Inc.